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DCC Archive Q re: Sinatra Sings For Only The Lonely

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Matt, Oct 8, 2001.

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  1. Matt

    Matt New Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Illinois
    I've read somewhere that the mono version of Frank Sinatra Sings For Only The Lonely is supposed to sound better than the stereo version, something to do with the tape they used for the stereo recording. Can anyone confirm this? I just have the 1987 issue and the CD from the EMI box set, and both are stereo.
     
  2. Todd Fredericks

    Todd Fredericks Senior Member

    Location:
    A New Yorker
    Camarillo,

    I think the mono Capitol Lp's (in most cases) sound a lot better then the stereo versions. His voice sounds very real (especially the timbre) and sits nicely with the band. The stereo versions seem to have more echo... Also, Steve mentioned in "long ago" posts that in the early 60's the stereo mixes were doctored with toms of reverb/eq and that the current CD's use these "mistaken" masters. Also, the 80's mono CD's had some digital reverb pumper in to please the hard of hearing...

    Todd
     
  3. Todd Fredericks

    Todd Fredericks Senior Member

    Location:
    A New Yorker
    Sorry... Too many typos tonight...

    Todd

    (I meant "pumped" not a dreaded pumper from an unknown world or time)
     
  4. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    Gents, here's the deal on "Only The Lonely".

    It was recorded at Capitol, LA, using eight mics on the orchestra, and a mic on Frank, live in mono (with echo, eq and compression added on the spot), as engineered by John Kraus.

    At the same time, a "dry" three-track tape was rolling, using just two or three mics on the orchestra, using a portable Ampex three-track (possibly the same one that recorded the Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl), engineer unknown.

    With me so far? Well, the mono tape was edited up, and compiled as an album master reel. The "binaural" dry tape went into storage for a little while.

    When the album was released (in mono), the tape was used to cut the lacquer for the plants.

    When the stereo version was ready to be released, a DIFFERENT engineer went back to the dry three-track and (badly, IMO), mixed it to a two-track LP master, and a two-track open reel tape master, drenching the thing in reverb, and losing a few songs in the process (to save a few cents).

    Now, since the orchestra wasn't miked correctly to begin with in the stereo version, the sound of the orchestra and Frank together is weird enough. The extra echo really kills it.

    So, for me, the mono version kills the stereo mix. This is one case that the three-track COULD in the right hands be used to make a wonderful sounding stereo mix... ;)
     
    marcfeld69 likes this.
  5. feinstein

    feinstein Member

    Location:
    Detroit, MI
     
  6. Matt

    Matt New Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Illinois
    How does the new Concepts box set compare to the individual remastered CD's in the US?

    I just borrowed the new US remaster of Only The Lonely, and I'm not too thrilled by it. While there's noticeably less hiss (which I suspect is more a result of noise reduction), in general, it isn't too good. More distortion, weird balance in the orchestral background, etc. For example, "One For My Baby," Frank's voice seems to break up a bit. On the stereo CD's I have, which are the older 1987 CD and the remaster from the UK EMI box set from 1998, his voice on that track sounds a lot better, but with some reverb around it (really noticeable when he sings the word "Well...," right when the piano and the sparse orchestral backing rests and just before the soprano saxophone comes in).

    Vinyl may be the way to go for Sinatra's Capitol albums. Just sad. First the Beatles and the Stones, now Sinatra...it's like the three of the most important bodies of work out there is getting the worst treatment on CD. It's just odd that these are the same artists that were packaged in big box sets by MFSL many years ago, and there are problems on those as well.

    [ October 09, 2001: Message edited by: Camarillo ]
     
  7. feinstein

    feinstein Member

    Location:
    Detroit, MI
     
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